Ball Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph Watch, Slipping To The Future

When I first read about the new Ball Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph, I for some reason had the refrain of “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping… into the future” pop into my head. Is this new Ball the future of chronographs? Well, time will tell. For now, though, it definitely is an intriguing iteration.

If you were only to look at the dial of the new Ball Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph, you would have no problem identifying it as a chronograph: it has a traditional “tri-compax” layout with the 30-minute register up top, running seconds at 9, 12-hour register at the bottom, and a tachymeter scale around the outside. When you look to the side of the almost 48 mm case and see no pushers surrounding the crown… then you begin to question your assumptions.

Slide In Its Neutral Position

Of course, a brand like Ball is not going to play games to give the appearance of a chronograph while actually tucking other functionality in; so, how do you engage the chronograph? Well, that is accomplished by a highly unusual solution of having a slider on the left-hand side of the case. Sliding it up starts (or stops) the chronograph movement, while sliding it down resets all indications of the chronograph to zero. It is worth noting as well that the slide mechanism returns to its neutral position after you engage the start/stop or reset.

The case is only water resistant to 30 meters – that is strange given how “durably versatile” most Ball watches are. With that said, the Trainmaster Standard Time ought to be a very convenient option for casual to formal use.Through a sapphire crystal display caseback window, the back of the watch delivers a view of this base Swiss ETA or Sellita automatic motion which Ball refers to as their caliber RR1105-C. The movement has further been COSC Chronometer certified, which adds a little overall price and explains the $2,000-plus cost point. The watch’s automatic motion and Chronometer certification status are memorialized via cursive text published on the dial wrap around the subsidiary moments dial.I personally favor the bracelet choice onto the Ball Trainmaster Standard Time watch, but that is only my personal preference. As a dress watch that is directly inspired by turn-of-the-century pocket watches, you truly can’t go wrong here unless you are interested in something a little larger – and if you are, you may as well just get an true turn-of-the-century pocket watch that has been converted into a wrist watch (as those do exist). If anything, this is an outstanding watch for men and women that are suffering from diminished dreams or are only starting to learn how to read an eye with analog hands vs electronic. You would be amazed just how a lot of people out there suffer from being unable to readily read the time on analog watches – which is not anything to be embarrassed of. Digital watches are easier to read, but sadly just are not as sexy as analog watches. Cost is $2,499.

Slide In Its “Up” Position, Used For Starting The Chronograph

Aside from the basic cleverness of how this was accomplished, is it a beneficial change? Well, for one, you won’t have pushers getting caught on anything (or acting as inadvertent crown protectors), so damage to how you engage the chrono should be negated. Second, this solution does present a cleaner look to the case edge as well – which is a good thing for those who liked the look and functionality of a “chrono” but would prefer to do so without having the protruding push pieces. Last but not least, the chunky, 47.6 millimeter wide and 15.5 millimeter tall stainless steel case of the Ball Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph is already large enough without the added with of the pushers. On the flip side, your local watch guy might have a bit of a learning curve when it comes time to maintain the movement.

Slide In Its “Down” Position, Used For Resetting All Indications Of The Chronograph

As to the rest of the watch, well, it is classic Ball. Under the AR-coated sapphire front, you have got a crisp black dial that remains legible through day and night, thanks to the 15 tritium gas tubes that need no external “charging.” Also, in line with the standards of the brand’s Engineer line, the Ball Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph features sufficient resistance specs against shock and magnetism – up to 5,000 Gs and 4,800 A/m, respectively. The only “spec” where this new model is a bit of a disappointment is its water resistance rating at only 5 atmospheres, although we are guessing that is due to the unique slide mechanism.

Available on a steel bracelet or leather strap (standard pin buckle) at a price of around $3,700 (we are awaiting the official number), the Ball Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph is definitely an extension of the innovation we have been seeing from the brand in the last year or so. And for chronograph fans, well, it is giving you a design you have never had before.

Tech Specs from Ball Watch

  • Model Number: CM3888D-S1J-BK | CM3888D-LL1J-BK
  • Movement: Automatic caliber BALL RR1402
  • Functions: 15 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands, slide bar and dial for night reading capability
  • Patented slide chronograph with accumulated measurement up to 12 hours
  • Tachymeter
  • Shock resistant to 5,000Gs
  • Anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m
  • Water resistant to 50m / 160ft
  • Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, day and date
  • Case: Stainless steel, Ø 47.6mm, height 15.50mm
  • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Screwed-in crown
  • Band: Stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle or crocodile leather strap with standard buckle
  • Dial: Black